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Edmonton Oilers

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Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers
Founded 1972
Home ice Rexall Place
Based in Edmonton
Colours Blue, copper, silver on 3rd jersey
League National Hockey League
Head coach Craig MacTavish
General manager Kevin Lowe
Owners Edmonton Investors Group Limited Partnership
(38 local owners)


The Edmonton Oilers are a National Hockey League team based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Founded: 1972, a member of the World Hockey Association. Joined the NHL in 1979.
Formerly known as: Alberta Oilers (1972-1973)
Arena: Rexall Place
Uniform colours: Copper and midnight blue
Logo design: A circle surrounding the word "OILERS", a copper-coloured drop of oil at the top
Third Jersey: A navy blue, white and silver jersey with a metallic gear logo with a navy blue oil drop centred on the gear and three blades coming out the back
Stanley Cups won: 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990
Affiliated Teams:
Contents

Franchise history

In 1972 the Alberta Oilers joined the World Hockey Association as a founding member. The team was originally owned by Bill Hunter. Hunter had previously owned the Edmonton Oil Kings and founded what would become the Western Hockey League, but his efforts to bring professional hockey to Edmonton had been rebuffed by the NHL. Originally, the team was named the Alberta Oilers as it was planned to split their home games between Edmonton and Calgary after the Calgary Broncos folded. For various reasons, possibly financial reasons or the possibility of allowing easier expansion of either the NHL or WHA to Calgary, the team played all of its games in Edmonton, and changed their name to reflect this the following year.

In 1978 new owner Peter Pocklington scored one of the greatest trades in hockey history, acquiring already-aspiring superstar Wayne Gretzky from the Indianapolis Racers for a token sum. Gretzky played only a few games in the WHA before the league folded, Edmonton joining the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets, Hartford Whalers, and Quebec Nordiques. Of these four teams, only Edmonton has avoided relocation and renaming.

With an incredible core of young players, including Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Kevin Lowe, the Oilers made a name for themselves very early, making the Stanley Cup playoffs in only their first season. Although they were swept in three games by the Philadelphia Flyers and their second regular season gave them mediocre results in the standings, the Oilers scored a stunning upset in the first round of the 1981 playoffs, defeating the strongly-favoured Montreal Canadiens three games to none, the Oilers making a case that they needed swift respect. In the 1981-1982 season, the Oilers became the league's strongest team in the regular season, but youthful lapses of discipline led to their losing the first playoff round. In 1983 they made it to their first-ever Stanley Cup finals, but were swept in four games by the three-time defending champions, the New York Islanders. A year later, however, Edmonton defeated the Islanders in five games (four to one) to claim their first Stanley Cup.

This started the Alberta Dynasty of the 1980s, with Edmonton and the Calgary Flames fighting for the top of the league for the next five years. Edmonton repeated Cup success in 1985, but were knocked out of the playoffs by an errant own goal in the seventh game of the Campbell Conference finals in 1986 against the rival Flames, who would go on to the finals (Montreal winning the Cup that year). In 1987 Edmonton returned to the finals to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers in a tense seven-game series. In 1988 the Oilers made their strongest-ever run to the Cup, losing only 2 games of 18, sweeping the Boston Bruins in the final to claim their fourth trophy in five years.

Missing image
Oilers_Team_Photo_'88.jpg
The Oilers after the '88 Cup

That summer however was extremely bittersweet for the Edmonton fans, as Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for $15 million and two players. The 1989 season was a troubled one because of this trade, and for the first time since 1982, the Oilers were out of the playoffs in the first round, losing a seven-game series to those same Kings.

1990 seemed set to continue the troubles for the Oilers, especially when All-Star and future Hall of Fame goalie Grant Fuhr was charged with possession and use of cocaine. But the team rallied behind new goalie Bill Ranford, and despite finishing third in their division, behind Calgary and Los Angeles, the Oilers made it all the way for the fifth and (to date) final time, once again defeating the Boston Bruins, this time in five games. Ranford won the playoff MVP that year for his brilliant playoff play.

The writing was on the wall however. The Gretzky trade had opened up a new reality of rapidly climbing salaries in the NHL, and small-market teams like Edmonton simply couldn't compete with salaries offered in large U.S. cities. Messier, Jari Kurri, Fuhr, Ranford, and Glenn Anderson all left the team in rapid succession, leaving behind an underdeveloped base of young players. Despite appearances in the Conference Finals in 1991 and 1992, the Oilers were nowhere near the powerhouse that had dominated the previous half-decade. In 1993 the Oilers missed the playoffs for the first time since their inaugural season. They would not return for four years.

Trouble followed the team off the ice as well, as the Gainers meat-packing industry owned by Pocklington failed amidst charges of scandal and corruption. For most of the 1990s the Oilers were desperately trying to stay alive. In 1999 a consortium of 37 owners finally purchased the team, vowing to keep the team in Edmonton. The Oilers have received support in this endeavour from the NHL, which was deeply troubled by the loss of two Canadian teams in short order.

In 1997 the Oilers returned to the Stanley Cup playoffs and emerged victorious again, defeating the Dallas Stars in a seven-game series considered to be one of the most exciting of all time, the final goal coming on a breakaway in overtime. Though Edmonton would lose to Colorado in the next round, fans were ecstatic about the Oilers' return to the playoffs. In 1998 Dallas and Edmonton met again, this time in the second round of the playoffs, with Dallas emerging the victor. This has led to one of the most unusual rivalries of all time in hockey: between 1997 and 2003 have played each other in the playoffs six times, five of them first-round matchups. The only year in which they did not meet was 2002, when neither team made the playoffs. In 2004 the streak came to an official end, when Edmonton failed to qualify for the playoff round, while Dallas went on to play the Colorado Avalanche.

On November 22, 2003, the Oilers hosted the Heritage Classic, the first outdoor hockey game in the NHL's history. The Edmonton Oilers were defeated by the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in front of more than fifty-five thousand fans, an NHL attendance record, at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.

On July 23, 2004, the team announced that its minor league affiliate, the Toronto Roadrunners would play the 2004-05 AHL season at the Oilers' home arena, now known as Rexall Place. The decision, an unusual one for a North American professional sports organization, was likely influenced by the expectation that the 2004 NHL lockout will wipe out the 2004-05 NHL season.

Year-By-Year Record

Alberta/Edmonton Oilers (WHA 1972-79)

Year GP W L T GF GA PTS Finish Playoffs
1972-73 78 37 35 6 259 250 80 4th West Out of Playoffs
1973-74 78 44 32 2 332 275 90 3rd West Lost Preliminary (MIN)
1974-75 78 36 38 4 279 279 76 5th Central Out of Playoffs
1975-76 81 27 49 5 335 398 53 4th Central Lost Quarterfinals (WPG)
1976-77 81 34 43 4 243 304 72 4th West Lost Quarterfinals (HOU)
1977-78 80 38 39 3 309 307 79 5th Lost Preliminary (NE)
1978-79 80 48 30 2 340 266 98 1st Lost Final (WPG)

Edmonton Oilers (NHL 1979-present)

Year GP W L T OL GF GA PTS Finish Playoffs
1979-80 80 28 39 13 - 301 322 69 4th Smythe Lost Preliminary (PHI)
1980-81 80 29 25 16 - 328 327 74 4th Smythe Lost Quarterfinal (NYI)
1981-82 80 48 17 15 - 417 295 111 1st Smythe Lost Division Semifinal (LA)
1982-83 80 47 21 12 - 424 315 106 1st Smythe Lost Stanley Cup Final (NYI)
1983-84 80 57 18 5 - 446 314 119 1st Smythe Won Stanley Cup
1984-85 80 49 20 11 - 401 298 109 1st Smythe Won Stanley Cup
1985-86 80 56 17 7 - 426 310 119 1st Smythe Lost Division Final (CGY)
1986-87 80 50 24 6 - 372 284 106 1st Smythe Won Stanley Cup
1987-88 80 44 25 11 - 363 288 99 2nd Smythe Won Stanley Cup
1988-89 80 38 34 8 - 325 306 84 3rd Smythe Lost Division Semifinal (LA)
1989-90 80 38 28 14 - 315 283 90 2nd Smythe Won Stanley Cup
1990-91 80 37 37 6 - 272 272 80 3rd Smythe Lost Conference Finals (MIN)
1991-92 80 36 34 10 - 295 297 82 3rd Smythe Lost Conference Finals (CHI)
1992-93 84 26 50 8 - 242 337 60 5th Smythe Out of Playoffs
1993-94 84 25 45 14 - 261 305 64 6th Pacific Out of Playoffs
1994-95 48 17 27 4 - 136 183 38 5th Pacific Out of Playoffs
1995-96 82 30 44 8 - 240 304 68 5th Pacific Out of Playoffs
1996-97 82 36 37 9 - 252 247 81 3rd Pacific Lost Conference Semifinal (COL)
1997-98 82 35 37 10 - 215 224 80 3rd Pacific Lost Conference Semifinal (DAL)
1998-99 82 33 37 12 - 230 226 78 2nd Northwest Lost Conference Quarterfinal (DAL)
1999-2000 82 32 26 16 8 226 212 88 2nd Northwest Lost Conference Quarterfinal (DAL)
2000-01 82 39 28 12 3 243 222 93 2nd Northwest Lost Conference Quarterfinal (DAL)
2001-02 82 38 28 12 4 205 182 92 3rd Northwest Out of Playoffs
2002-03 82 36 26 11 9 231 230 92 4th Northwest Lost Conference Quarterfinal (DAL)
2003-04 82 36 29 12 5 221 208 89 4th Northwest Out of Playoffs

Players of Note

Hall of Famers:

Captains

Current stars:

Not to be forgotten:

Retired Numbers:

All-Time Regular Season Leaders

Most Games Played:

Most Goals:

Most Assists:

Most Points:

Most Penalty Minutes:

All-Time Post-Season Leaders

Most Games Played:

Most Goals:

Most Assists:

Most Points:

Most Penalty Minutes:

External Links

National Hockey League
Current Teams : Anaheim | Atlanta | Boston | Buffalo | Calgary | Carolina | Chicago | Colorado | Columbus | Dallas | Detroit | Edmonton | Florida | Los Angeles | Minnesota | Montreal | Nashville | New Jersey | NY Islanders | NY Rangers | Ottawa | Philadelphia | Phoenix | Pittsburgh | San Jose | St. Louis | Tampa Bay | Toronto | Vancouver | Washington
Trophies and Awards: Stanley Cup | Prince of Wales | Clarence S. Campbell | Presidents' Trophy | Art Ross | Bill Masterton | Calder | Conn Smythe | Hart | Norris | King Clancy | Lady Byng | Lester B. Pearson Award | Rocket Richard | Plus/Minus | Roger Crozier Saving Grace Award | Jennings | Vezina
Related Articles: AHL | ECHL | WHA | World Cup

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